Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Shure Mic Transformers

Ben C was hunting for Altec 32s, Emilar EH800s 
and EH500s at Jammin' Jersey

Tipped off by my buddy, Ben C (dude in the middle), I scoured eBay for Shure Mic transformers that can be repurposed for MC step-up duty. These transformers typically sell for under $50/pair shipped within the USA.

They don't have model numbers so I'll identify them based on their step-up ratio.

Primary DCR = 35 ohms and 3500 ohms in the secondary. 
I measured a step up ratio of about 1:17, which suits the Denon DL103 and DL103R well. It can be a pinch hitter for the Ortofon SPU in my system, but ideally more gain is needed.

This unit has slightly less gain at about 1:12, primary DCR = 20 ohms and secondary = 2000 ohms. What it gives up in gain is made up for by slightly wider bandwidth. If I were to split hairs, I'd pick this over the 1:17 model above if I were using a DL103 exclusively.

The tonal balance of both Shure transformers is actually quite similar to the Altec 4722 with just a touch less transparency and authority throughout the audio band. At their present asking price, I can highly recommend these transformers to those who want to sample the delights of listening through a classic Denon DL103 low output moving coil cartridge.

Happy listening!


  1. Is that "Mark" of Jammin' Jersey on the left in the photo?

    FWIW, I sourced a pair of 1" to 2" (or is that 2" to 1") adaptors for my EH500-2s from him/them; a good guy, he is.

    1. Yes, it sure is Mark! The picture was taken summer of 2016.